Opinion, Staff Editorial

Gender balance will give diverse ideas in sciences, humanities

Today, as part of National Engineers Week, the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) will host more than 200 female high school students for Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day.

Historically, STEM fields such as engineering, mathematics and physics have been male-dominated. At UM, only 29 percent of undergraduate engineering degrees are awarded to women. This is still higher than the national average of 18 percent, according to the National Center of Education Statistics.

Though STEM fields have received the most attention for gender ratios, other fields with notable gender imbalances shouldn’t be overlooked.

At UM, women only comprise 36 percent of graduate business students, while 82-83 percent of all nursing and health students are female. A 2009 Survey of Earned Doctorates showed notable discrepancies in philosophy, religious studies and economics, which are all male-dominated.

Active efforts to close the gender divide are also required for fields beyond STEM. Diversity is sought in STEM for the greater array of ideas, rather than for the sake of having more diverse scientists and engineers.

Likewise, a wider variety of ideas in fields like philosophy can also advance society and culture in ways that science cannot. Not only will the classrooms be enriched with more perspectives, but each student will also benefit from more diverse ways of thinking and problem-solving when they immerse themselves in different fields of study without the intimidation of “male-dominated” or “female-dominated” stereotypes.

It was not that long ago that this school became the center of a divisive case of gender dynamics in philosophy, when previous Professor Colin McGinn was accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a graduate student. The case sparked a discussion among philosophers around the world about problems relating to philosophy’s reputation as the “whitest, malest field of American academia,” a stark example of the de facto deterrents attached to many non-science fields that still need to be tackled.

While gender discrepancies in STEM fields are very large, they are just one large obstacle in a much longer journey. We cannot let this one hurdle blind us to other areas in which much-needed women and men are not sitting at the table.

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.

February 24, 2016

Reporters

Editorial Board

The Miami Hurricane


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

University of Miami athletic director Blake James has no intention of pressuring or forcing coach Ma ...

He’s certainly not a veteran, but for the first time in his college football career, redshirt freshm ...

This November feels a lot more like March for the 24th-ranked University of Miami women’s basketball ...

For a month at a time, Louis Hedley would find himself in the deserts of Australia. His chances at m ...

It has been a trying season for college football fans of two Sunshine State programs: Florida State ...

UM Professor of Law Frances R. Hill tells us what we should know. ...

An international study led by University of Miami tropical biologists reveals that tropical trees ar ...

UM’s robotics team recently obtained a new robot with the goal of helping aging individuals. ...

New student organization’s mission is a movement to return to the ‘roots’ of natural hair. ...

A University of Miami professor discusses the dynamics of this trend. ...

N'Kosi Perry wants to build off his showing at Georgia Tech with another strong performance thi ...

University of Miami head volleyball coach Jose "Keno" Gandara is excited to announce the s ...

Isaiah Wong and Anthony Walker will join Canes for 2019-20 season. ...

Three University of Miami men's tennis student-athletes – Adria Soriano Barrera, Bojan Jankulov ...

Estela Perez-Somarriba of the Miami women's tennis team checks in at seventh in the country in ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.